Achieving the country’s net-zero ambitions will involve innovating in the ways we produce, transport, manage and consume energy. The scale of the transition we face means it’s not just about technologies, but about new products, services, processes, market actors and business models.
The energy sector rulebook rightly sets the high standards we expect of an essential service. As the system transitions, the rules that govern it will too. But, where an innovator wants to trial something novel, or launch a new business now, some rules might be barriers to making this happen. We want to make sure regulation facilitates innovations in consumers’ interests and in our Decarbonisation Action Plan we say we will “support innovation and experimentation, particularly in the retail market, to create low carbon products and services that will directly benefit consumers.”
In 2017 we launched the regulatory sandbox as a means of experimenting with ways of mitigating barriers where an innovator’s plans didn’t readily fit with the rulebook. The sandbox has a key role to play in enabling trials and supporting innovators in launching new low carbon products and services. This document provides an overview of the refreshed innovation sandbox service, how its evolved and what tools will be available to innovators.